WESTFIELD TWP. — For the third time in as many seasons, Cloverleaf’s girls soccer team has a new coach.
Guillermo Porras takes over the program from Judd Peroli, who decided to take a smaller role with the program due to the uncertainty of his fulltime job.
Step one for Porras, who served as Peroli’s lead assistant last season, is to get the program back to where it was just a little over two years ago, when it put the finishing touches on 17 straight winning seasons and a third straight Suburban League title.
“I want to return to that tradition,” the 37-year-old said. “I would like to get the program back to where it was in previous years, like when they lost 1-0 to Medina (in the 2009 Division I District semifinals).
“I can’t wait to get started.”
Those late postseason runs and SL championships seem like a distant memory after the Colts won just six games over the last two seasons, which includes going 2-14-1, 1-6 in 2012.
And why not try to bring back the winning tradition with a former Cloverleaf standout and 1996 graduate.
“It’s always nice to have alums coaching our teams,” Cloverleaf athletic director Craig Walkup said. “He played college soccer and coached at Mount Union, so he’s really embedded in the soccer community. There are a lot of positives with him.”
Porras, a native of Colombia moved into the Cloverleaf District when he was 14, played for the University of Mount Union before stints on both the men’s and women’s coaching staffs at the D-III school.
Now he’s ready to lead a team that closed the season by winning two of its last three games and returns eight starters.
“We have to make sure we learn from our mistakes,” Porras said. “Not every year can you be a contender for the state championship. We need to look at the positives from one game to another, which is hard to see sometimes.”
Porras, a Spanish teacher at Medina High School and resident of the Chippewa Lake area who has two children attending Cloverleaf’s Elementary School, plans on being involved with the district’s youth program and gaining enough interest for a junior varsity team. The Colts didn’t field a JV team last season.
With a slew of returnees back, including midfielder Lauren Gokey (team-high 8 goals in 2012), the Colts will have a solid foundation to build on.
And while there is still five months before the first regular season practice, Porras is ready to go.
“I can’t wait to get started,” he said. “For me to offer my experience to the kids to play this wonderful game of soccer and give back to the community is a positive.
“Our coaching staff has taken steps to get involved in the youth program and with some great players coming back; I’m excited to get going.”
Contact Dan Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org.